City seeks to clean up S&W

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PONDERAY — Safety hazards, trash, sewer leaks and other issues at the S&W Motel and trailer park have drawn the attention of city officials.

"It’s a big eyesore," said Mayor Steve Geiger as property owner Steve Wasick joined the City Council meeting Monday by phone to discuss ongoing issues with the property.

"It’s right out on the main road," Geiger continued. "Everybody who looks in there sees the Dumpster overflowing, trash everywhere … there is an abandoned car in there that needs to be dealt with, one of the trailers was partially burned up, so that’s a big eyesore."

Following a conversation with Wasick during the city’s Dec. 4 meeting, Geiger said he stopped by the property and said 12 out of the 13 doors were "kicked in or non-existent, and there was trash and debris everywhere." Ponderay Police Sgt. Mike Victorino went through each trailer on Dec. 7 and took a video of the trash and damage to each unit. All of the units were open and easily accessible, he said. Trash was piled on floors and counters, doors were torn from hinges and other damage visible.

It is clear, Geiger said, that there are safety issues that need addressed.

Wasick, who does not live in the area and has others who keep an eye on the property for him, said he was told the trailers had been padlocked and were secure, but apparently that was not the case. Wasick said he has since hired someone to board up all the doors and the windows that could not be secured. Someone will be checking on the trailers regularly to ensure the units remain secure, he said.

The S&W has been a topic at council for several months following complaints of a leak in the sewer lateral. Wasick said the sewer line serviced rooms two through nine of the motel. The rooms were being rented out with no sewer access, but Wasick told council members this week that problem, as well as the trash and securing the trailers, have been addressed.

“I hope that all those actions collectively have kind of demonstrated that we are not looking to drag our heels unnecessarily on these issues,” Wasick said.

When Wasick hired someone to board up the trailers and take care of the trash, he was told there may be a chance someone could haul the trailers out of there. This is no simple task, he said, as the units have been built onto with porches and carports.

Wasick said he will get bids prior to the Feb. 5 City Council meeting on how much it will cost and a time frame for cleaning up the property. They can discuss options at that time, Wasick said, depending on how much the bids are.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at mmalone@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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